For the first time since 2001, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is updating its regulations concerning nitrogen oxide (NOx). In particular, these regulation changes will impact heavy-duty trucks and buses that account for 23% of emissions from transportation.
The update will require stricter standards to help reduce these harmful greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere. One of the big focuses of this move will be to introduce new buses for schools and public transportation.
School buses, in particular, represent one of the largest fleets in the US, with only the postal service exceeding it. There are an estimated 500,000 school buses that are responsible for transporting 26 million children to and from school 5 days a week.
Upgrading this fleet would have a significant impact on emissions and could improve the experience for children.
It’s A Big Win For Students
What if I told you your school bus is having an impact on your child’s test grades and health? You probably wouldn’t believe me, but it is.
Research into school buses has found a direct link between the exhaust from a diesel-powered school bus and a student’s health and academic performance. Specifically, the report highlights that developing children who are being exposed to exhaust are more likely to suffer from respiratory diseases.
It also has an impact on cognitive functioning. Or in other words, their ability to learn and retain information, you know, the entire point of school.
There are also other advantages of upgrading the school bus fleet. Newer buses will mean better heating systems. Or in some cases, just heating systems that actually work, better safety technology, and more.
It’s a big win for the 26 million children that ride the bus to school.
It’s Not Just School Buses, But Trucks As Well
Now, school buses might be a major objective, but that’s just one part of the focus.
Heavy-duty trucks, like freight trucks, are just as big of a problem. In fact, they are probably way worse in terms of emissions. The problem is that they are essential for moving products around the country in a timely manner.
And due to how heavy the load gets, electric-powered- trucks will not cut it. At least not yet.
While it would be great to replace freight trucks with electric options like buses, it’s not possible. That’s why the administration is keeping a close eye on zero-emission trucks. Many are in development, so it’s only a matter of time.
Vehicles Have An Electric Future
Without a doubt, regardless of what vehicle you drive, there will be an electric alternative in the future.
As regulations become tighter and tighter, and fossil fuel prices continue to be volatile, gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles have no future. Instead, the benefits of electric vehicles and the positive impact they will have on the environment are too attractive to ignore.
The transition is already underway. Many of the world’s largest auto manufacturers are already committed to a fully electric lineup in the future. Some countries have even gone a step further and have plans to ban fossil fuel cars soon.
In no uncertain terms, gas and diesel vehicles are on their way out.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.